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50 Easy School Dinner Recipes with Just 5 Ingredients

When the calendar starts getting cluttered, your family's still gotta eat. These easy school dinner recipes rely on just five ingredients for a simple, delicious meal.

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Quick Chicken Piccata

Quick chicken recipes make dinner a breeze. Laced with lemon and simmered in white wine, this stovetop entree is super easy and elegant. Almost any side—noodles, veggies or bread—tastes better next to this lovely chicken. —Cynthia Heil, Augusta, Georgia

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Bean Burritos Exps Ft20 8898 F 0521 1 Home 3

Bean Burritos

I always have the ingredients for this cheesy bean burrito recipe on hand. Cooking the rice and shredding the cheese the night before save precious minutes at dinnertime. —Beth Osborne Skinner, Bristol, Tennessee
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Ravioli Casserole

The whole family will love the fun, cheesy flavor of this ravioli casserole. It’s like lasagna—without all the fuss! Timesaving ingredients, including prepared spaghetti sauce and frozen ravioli, hurry the preparation along. —Mary Ann Rothert, Austin, Texas
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Onion Meat Loaf Exps Ft21 27246 F 0602 1

Onion Meat Loaf

My husband and I really enjoy this delicious meat loaf made with onion soup mix. You only need five ingredients to assemble this easy entree before popping it in the slow cooker. —Rhonda Cowden, Quincy, Illinois
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Baked Swiss Chicken

Baked Swiss Chicken

Canned soup, white wine, Swiss cheese and crushed croutons dress up the chicken breasts in this elegant entree. Ideal for unexpected guests, it requires only a few ingredients. The creamy sauce is excellent with garlic mashed potatoes or rice. —Beverly Roberge, Bristol, Connecticut
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Pork Chops With Apples And Stuffing Exps Thedscodr20 15365 B03 12 2b 3

Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing

The heartwarming taste of apples with cinnamon is the perfect accompaniment to tender pork chops. This dish is always a winner with my family. Because it calls for only four ingredients, it’s a main course that I can serve with little preparation. —Joan Hamilton, Worcester, Massachusetts
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Taco Puffs Exps Ft21 8601 F 0714 1

Taco Puffs

I got this recipe from a friend years ago and still make these cheesy sandwiches regularly. I serve them for dinner along with a steaming bowl of soup or fresh green salad. Any leftovers taste even better the next day for lunch. A helpful hint: Plain refrigerated biscuits seal together better than buttermilk types. —Jan Schmid
Hibbing Minnesota
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Easy Chicken Pesto Stuffed Peppers Exps Tohas20 245148 F04 08 2b 5

Easy Chicken Pesto Stuffed Peppers

On busy weeknights, I don’t want to spend more than 30 minutes preparing dinner, nor do I want to wash a towering pile of dishes. This recipe delivers without having to sacrifice flavor! —Olivia Cruz, Greenville, South Carolina
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Tortellini With Sausage And Mascarpone Exps Tohescodr20 245880 B03 17 5b 13

Tortellini with Sausage and Mascarpone

When I crave Italian comfort food on a busy night and don’t have a lot of time to cook, this sausage tortellini skillet recipe is fast and yummy. You can have it on the table in less time than a takeout order. —Gerry Vance, Millbrae, California
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Slow Cooker Barbeque Pulled Pork Sandwiches Exps Tohesodr21 142407 E02 17 1b

Slow-Cooker Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Foolproof and wonderfully delicious describe my barbecue pork recipe. Just four ingredients and a slow cooker make a fabulous dish with little effort. —Sarah Johnson, Chicago, Illinois
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One Pot Mac And Cheese Exps Ft19 197484 F 1213 1 9

One-Pot Mac and Cheese

Who likes cleaning up after making mac and cheese? Not this girl. This one-pot mac and cheese is a family favorite, and my 3-year-old is thrilled to see it coming to the dinner table. We love to add sliced smoked sausage to this creamy mac recipe! —Ashley Lecker, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Savory Onion Chicken Exps Ft20 45308 F 0506 1 Home 7

Savory Onion Chicken

Dinner doesn’t get any easier than this tasty onion soup chicken entree. Buy chicken that’s already cut up to save even more time. —Julia Anderson, Ringgold, Georgia
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Artichoke Chicken Pesto Pizza Exps Sdam19 23872 E12 07 5b 1

Artichoke Chicken Pesto Pizza

Make pizza night an upscale affair with this fun twist on the traditional pie. A prebaked crust and prepared pesto keep things quick and easy. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Waffle-Iron Pizzas

These little pizza pockets are a fun mashup using a waffle iron. Try adding your favorite toppings or even a few breakfast fillings, such as ham and eggs. —Amy Lents, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Fast Baked Fish

We always have a good supply of fresh fish, so I make fish recipes often. This recipe is my favorite because it is moist, tender and flavorful. —Judie Anglen, Riverton, Wyoming
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Hawaiian Pulled Pork Lettuce Wraps

We love this easy slow-cooker recipe on Sunday afternoons. It's equally comforting and light for lunch or dinner. We serve ours with sweet potato oven fries and roasted green beans. —Arlene Rakoczy, Gilbert, Arizona
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Muffin-Tin Lasagnas

This is a super fun way to serve lasagna for make-ahead lunches, potlucks or other fun get-togethers. My daughter took some of these to work and by noon was emailing me for the recipe. —Sally Kilkenny, Granger, Iowa
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Mediterranean Tilapia

I recently became a fan of tilapia. The mild taste makes it easy to top with our favorite ingredients. And it’s low in calories and fat. What’s not to love? —Robin Brenneman, Hilliard, Ohio
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Chicken Provolone

Chicken Provolone, though one of my simplest dishes, is one of my husband’s favorites. It is easy to prepare and looks fancy served on a dark plate with a garnish of fresh parsley or basil. Add some buttered noodles for an easy side dish. —Dawn Bryant, Thedford, Nebraska
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Bbq Meat Loaf Minis Exps Cwas18 53418 B04 05  2b

BBQ Meat Loaf Minis

Kids can have fun helping to prepare these mini meat loaves in muffin cups. For extra spice, we sometimes add 2 teaspoons chili powder and 1 cup of salsa. —Linda Call, Falun, Kansas
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Garlic Toast Pizzas

Between working full-time, going to school and raising three children, finding time-saving recipes that my family likes is one of my biggest challenges. These quick pizzas pack a huge amount of flavor. —Amy Grim, Chillicothe, Ohio
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Asian Beef and Noodles

Asian beef recipes don't get much simpler. This colorful, economical stir-fry dish takes only five ingredients—all of which you're likely to have on hand. Serve with a dash of soy sauce and a side of pineapple slices. —Laura Stenberg, Wyoming, Minnesota
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Tortellini Carbonara Exps Sdam17 20418 C12 09 2b 8

Tortellini Carbonara

I've made this bacon, cream and Parmesan cheese pasta sauce for so many years and have always called it a carbonara. Low-and-behold, I recently found out it's actually more like an Alfredo sauce. In either case, it's absolutely heavenly and a great option for company! —Cathy Croyle, Davidsville, Pennsylvania
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One-Skillet Pork Chop Supper

My husband, Clark, and I reserve this recipe for Sundays after the grandkids have gone home and we're too tired to prepare a big meal. It's comforting and quick. —Kathy Thompson, Port Orange, Florida
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Sausage Hash Exps Bmz19 8404 C11 30 6b 10

Sausage Hash

We always have plenty of pork sausage around, so when I need a quick supper, I use this handy recipe. The colorful vegetables give the hash a bold look to match its flavor. —Virginia Krites, Cridersville, Ohio
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Spaghetti Squash & Sausage Easy Meal

I first created my son’s favorite dish using homegrown squash, kielbasa and salsa. This variation uses only a few ingredients. —Pam Copeland, Taylorsville, Utah
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Easy Chicken Strips Exps Ft20 43833 F 0417 1 Home 5

Easy Chicken Strips

I came up with these crispy strips one night when I was looking for a fast new way to serve chicken. They also make delightful appetizers, especially when served with barbecue or sweet-and-sour sauce for dunking. —Crystal Sheckles-Gibson, Beespring, Kentucky
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Sweet N Spicy Chicken Exps9165 Mrr133247d07 30 4bc Rms 2

Sweet 'n' Spicy Chicken

My husband and three children love this tender, sweet and spicy chicken. Peach preserves add just a touch of sweetness, while taco seasoning and salsa give this dish some kick. This entree can be made even zippier yet by adding more taco seasoning and using spicier salsa. —Sheri White, Higley, Arizona
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Pierogi Quesadillas

When I had hungry children in the kitchen and nothing but leftovers, I invented these quesadillas. Now it's how we always use up our potatoes, meats and sometimes veggies. —Andrea Dibble, Solon, Iowa
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Zippy Breaded Pork Chops Exps2247 5ing133188c04 18 1bc Rms 1

Zippy Breaded Pork Chops

Need a perky update for baked breaded pork chops? These chops with ranch dressing and a light breading will bring a delightful zing to your dinner table. —Ann Ingalls, Gladstone, Missouri
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Lasagna Rolls

My Italian lasagna roll-ups are not complicated; they require only basic ingredients to assemble. Prepared spaghetti sauce helps me save time and get dinner on the table sooner. —Mary Lee Thomas, Logansport, Indiana
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Shrimp Fried Rice

This delectable shrimp fried rice is filled with color and taste that makes it vanish fast. Our family of four can't get enough of it. Bacon adds crispness and a hint of heartiness. Consider it when you need a different main dish or brunch item. —Sandra Thompson, White Hall, Arkansas
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Fiesta Ravioli

I adapted this recipe to suit our taste for spicy food. The ravioli taste like mini enchiladas. I serve them with a Mexican-inspired salad and pineapple sherbet for dessert. —Debbie Purdue, Freeland, Michigan
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Chicken Pesto With Pasta Exps30125 5ing2856595d03 13 5b Rms 2

Chicken Pesto with Pasta

Prepared sauce accents this warm chicken pesto pasta. Keep pesto in the freezer for the next time you have leftover chicken. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Oven Fried Fish Nuggets Exps35083 Thd143241c01 22 5bc Rms 2

Oven-Fried Fish Nuggets

My husband and I love fried fish, but we're both trying to cut back on dietary fat. I came up with this oven-baked version. He likes it as much as deep-fried fish, so I know it's a winner. —LaDonna Reed, Ponca City, Oklahoma
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Mediterranean Chicken Exps Srbz16 38137 C09 02 5b 8

Mediterranean Chicken

As special as it is simple to prepare, this flavorful skillet creation is dressed in tomatoes, olives and capers. It’s a knockout main dish at my house. —Mary Relyea, Canastota, New York
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Black Bean And Beef Tostadas Exps Sdam18 55709 C12 01 3b 1

Black Bean and Beef Tostadas

Just a handful of ingredients add up to one of our family’s favorites. It's also easy to double for company! —Susan Brown, Kansas City, Kansas
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Chicken Sausages With Peppers Exps87528 Thhc2238741c07 26 1bc Rms 6

Chicken Sausages with Peppers

Chicken sausage is lower in calories compared to its pork counterpart, but it doesn't skimp on the bold, savory flavors you love. Try it with sweet, crunchy bell peppers for a fast and healthy dinner. —Deborah Schaefer, Durand, Michigan
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Smothered Burritos

My brother-in-law teased that I only knew five ground beef recipes. I proved him wrong with my inventive spicy burritos. —Kim Kenyon, Greenwood, Missouri
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Peachy Pork with Rice

Peach preserves sweeten the spicy salsa in this delicious dish that’s nice enough for company. Adjust the heat level to taste by using mild or spicy salsa and seasoning. —Melissa Molaison, Hawkinsville, Georgia
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Creamy Beef & Potatoes

One of my husband's favorite childhood memories was eating his Grandma Barney's Tater Tot Casserole. One day I prepared it using potatoes O'Brien instead. Now I always make it this way. — Heather Matthews, Keller, Texas
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Parmesan Chicken Nuggets

My 3-year-old went through a chicken-nuggets-and-french-fries-only stage, so I made these golden nuggets for him. Even the grown-ups like them! —Amanda Livesay, Mobile, Alabama
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Caribbean Chicken Stir-Fry

Fruit cocktail in stir-fry? You might be surprised by how good this dish is. It's a promising go-to option when time's tight. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Orzo

Broccoli and rice casserole tops my family's comfort food list, but when we need something fast, this is the stuff. Chicken and veggie orzo cooked on the stovetop speeds everything up. —Mary Shivers, Ada, Oklahoma
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Beefy Tortellini Skillet

This tortellini dish is a one-skillet-wonder the family craves. From browning beef to cooking the pasta and melting the cheese, everything happens in one pan. You can add basil or chives for a touch of freshness. —Juli Meyers, Hinesville, Georgia
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Ham & Swiss Stromboli

This is an excellent dish to take to someone for dinner. It's also easy to change up the recipe with your favorite meats or cheeses. —Tricia Bibb, Hartselle, AL
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Homemade Polish Pierogi

My mother made many dozens of these and measured ingredients using the palm of her hand. We've passed the recipe down over the years as the family has grown. —Veronica Weinkauf, South Bend, Indiana
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Weekday Beef Stew

Beef stew capped with flaky puff pastry adds comfort to the weeknight menu—my family is always glad to see this meal. Make a salad and call your crowd to the table. —Daniel Anderson, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Caesar Chicken with Feta

My tomatoey chicken is the perfect answer on those crazy days when supper has to be on the table in 30 minutes, tops (doesn't hurt that it's delicious, too). —Denise Chelpka, Phoenix, Arizona
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Pigs in a Blanket

These baked hot dog sandwiches appeal to kids of all ages. Even my husband, Allan, admits to enjoying every bite! We like to dip them in ketchup and mustard. —Linda Young, Longmont, Colorado

Rachel Seis
As senior editor for Taste of Home magazine, Rachel has her hand in everything you see from cover to cover, from writing and editing articles to taste-testing recipes to ensuring every issue is packed with fun and fabulous content. She'll roll up her sleeves to try any new recipe in the kitchen—from spicy Thai dishes (her favorite!) to classic Southern comfort food (OK...also her favorite). When she's not busy thinking of her next meal, Rachel can be found practicing yoga, going for a run, exploring National Parks and traveling to new-to-her cities across the country.

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